Episode 23: Rihanna Gets Body Shamed

May 31st 2017

ATTN: Staff

On Tuesday, May 30 the site Barstool Sports asked the question "Is Rihanna going to make being fat the hot new trend?"



The internet backlash was swift: The site has already issued an apology of sorts, and the site has taken the piece down. The piece, which analyzed RihRih's weigh as if it were dissecting a sports match, was not the only commentary on the singer's body shape in the last few weeks. BuzzFeed also posted a piece praising her "thick" look.

"For some cultures, it's a compliment used to celebrate a woman's curves, and that's exactly what we're doing here!" BuzzFeed wrote. "Besides blessing us with her continuous fashion slays, fans have noticed a slight change in Rihanna's appearance lately: she's looking thicker than a snicker!"

The conversation about the pop superstar's weight—whether negative or positive—misses a crucial point: Rihanna is more than her weight. And the public dissecting of this topic (did she gain? did she lose?) is not only reductive (she's an incredible performer and singer no matter what her size), it can also have real world consequences on how people—especially teens—view their own self image or weight fluctuations.

On this week's "Got Your Attention," the cast discusses Rihanna, Trump and the Secret Service, our drunk personalities, and a list of culturally appropriative restaurants in Portland, Oregon.

Podcast notes:

Read more about the stories we did (and didn't) talk about this week on "Got Your Attention."

  • There are two very different narratives coming out after President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe. On the one hand, France’s President Emmanuel Macron essentially saying he aggressively shook Trump's hand as a power move, and Germany's Angela Merkel telling her country they can’t rely on the U.S. anymore. On the other hand, Trump says it was a home run!
  • A group of anonymous Portlandians put together a document of restaurants they say are guilty of cultural appropriation. Specifically, restaurants or food carts selling non-European international cuisine owned solely by white people. The document also offers alternatives to these restaurants owned by people of color.
  •  This weekend there was a New York Times Magazine piece in conjunction with ProPublica about Jared Kushner's litigious real estate company, JK2 Westminster. (Though he stepped down as the head earlier this year, he's still a stakeholder, and his shares are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.) "His subordinates aggressively sue tenants for the smallest infractions despite ignoring maintenance needs, and they pursue judgments even when the tenant seems to have been in the right," a New York Times editorial board piece explains. "While landlord-tenant disputes are hardly new, tenants in Kushner complexes have complained that the company used legal action to hound them on thin or specious grounds."
  • The hashtag #Thickanna was trending earlier this week, which a BuzzFeed article points out is what fans are calling a "thick" Rihanna. That BuzzFeed post, and a considerable amount of social media commentary surrounding "thickanna" is celebratory. Though some places like Barstool Sports took a decidedly negative approach.
  • Sofia Coppola is the second woman in history to win best director at Cannes. The last time a woman won was 1961. This is an example that comes up again and again, highlighting inequality among men and women in Hollywood (and the world).
  • The Trump “Make America Great Again Committee”  has a new way for you to donate $69 per month: The Big League Box is a BirchBox-like subscription box service for campaign memorabilia.
  • According to a study published in the Journal Clinical Psychological Science, our sober selves are probably only a little bit different than our drunk selves. Science of Us explains.
  • The Playboy Model, who posted a Shapchat photo making fun of an older naked woman at the gym, was finally sentenced.
  • Activists want Tampon makers to disclose ingredients. Right now pads and tampons are not required to; instead they give a suggested ingredient list. Activists say women have the right to know what chemicals and materials are in those products.
  • The Trump administration is scaling back its civil rights efforts across agencies, and this has many worried, The Washington Post reports.
  • One of the most buzzworthy moments from the President’s first official trip abroad was the NATO meeting. But the person who stole the show was Luxembourg's first gentleman Gauthier Destenay, who was the only man in the NATO spouses photo. The LGBT community saw this photo as a huge step forward. The White House Facebook page did not include Destenay in their description of the photo.
  • President Trump’s lifestyle is taking a toll on the Secret Service.

What is the "Got Your Attention" podcast?

If you've ever wondered how the staff pitch and select the stories that you read or watch on ATTN:, we're giving you an inside listen. ATTN: Media is excited to announce "Got Your Attention," a podcast where ATTN: staffers compete to have their pitches accepted by our host — while also unpacking some of the week's most important headlines.

The game is simple: Three ATTN: staff members—Senior Analyst Katie Fleeman, Senior Editor Sarah Gray, and Senior Social Trends Editor Omri Rolan—pitch their best stories to our host and Head of Editorial Mike Vainisi. If Mike picks their story, they get a point, and the four discuss the story.